Infineon expands commitment to quantum computing

3 min read

Infineon Technologies has strengthened its commitment to the development of quantum computing technologies in Germany and Europe.

In addition to previously established initiatives and partnerships the chip manufacturer is participating in six additional research projects which are being funded as part of the German federal government's economic stimulus package for the future of quantum technologies.

In partnership with research institutes and partners in industry, Infineon will contribute its expertise in microelectronics and industrial manufacturing as well as its experience in application relating to future quantum computers.

Quantum computers can quickly perform tasks which would take years to complete even for high-powered supercomputers using today's technologies and are seen as having a key role in, for example, accelerating the development of medications or chemical catalysts by simulating processes on a molecular scale. However, technical hurdles still need to be overcome before quantum computers can be made relatively lightweight and user-friendly.

"Infineon sees quantum technologies as a major opportunity in global competition, since they constitute a completely novel development," said Dr. Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon. "We are still a long way from deciding which technological path will make the fastest progress possible and which applications will be successfully handled by quantum computers. Infineon is therefore conducting research on a variety of approaches. The close cooperation in these projects will accelerate the pace of development and will establish the basis for a successful future."

The objective of the research projects is to overcome obstacles in the use of quantum technology. These projects will see demonstrators constructed, electronic controls integrated and software for the use of quantum computers developed.

The challenges are still large in all areas: the development of applicable quantum computing involves more than simply providing more and better qubits for calculations. It also calls for a holistic approach that takes peripherals, software and applications into account, in addition to hardware.

The individual projects are:

The ATIQ project (Trapped-Ion Quantum Computer for Applications) includes 25 partners from research facilities and industry is developing an ion trap-based quantum computer demonstrator which can be made available to users reliably and around the clock within 30 months. Initially the demonstrator will work with ten qubits and will later be scaled up to more than 100 qubits. Infineon is contributing its expertise gained in ion trap projects as well as in control electronics and cryoelectronics.

MuniQC-SC (Munich Quantum Computer based on Superconductors) is developing a quantum computer demonstrator based on superconductors. Infineon is working together with ten research and start-up partners in the project, which includes laboratory, small-batch and industrial-scale manufacturing. In particular, the chip manufacturer is contributing expertise in industrial manufacturing processes for semiconductor production.

The QuMIC project (Qubits Control by Microwave Integrated Circuits), involves a total of six partner institutions, focuses on the miniaturisation of the radio-frequency electronics and control electronics necessary for quantum computers based on ion trap or superconducting qubits. Infineon is coordinating the project and is concentrating on the investigation of highly-integrated computer chips in the radio-frequency range as well as their integration in quantum electronics. The project also focuses on the development of compact multi-chip modules.

QVOL (Volume production of quantum sensors based on magnetic field sensors in silicon carbide) is the first quantum sensor project in which Infineon is involved, leading the research consortium of a total of six partners. Infineon's main task is the development of quantum sensor structures based on silicon carbide technologies which are also suitable for high-volume production.

The project QuaST (Quantum-enabling Services und Tools) is developing software tools which will considerably simplify user access to quantum computers. The objective is to simplify previous highly specialised programming methodologies to the point that programmers will no longer require special knowledge of quantum computing, but rather the software will carry out the necessary modifications to the hardware in the background. This includes in particular the automatic breakdown of optimisation problems in industrial questions for classical supercomputers and quantum computers. Six partners are collaborating in the project. Infineon is providing concrete application examples from the global supply chain.

The QuBRA project (Quantum methods and Benchmarks for Resource Allocation) is developing algorithms and benchmarking to determine the practically viable benefit of quantum computers in comparison to classic approaches, for example in machine learning. Among other things this will help decide when the use of quantum computers is preferable and when the use of classical computers is more practical. Infineon is also contributing application scenarios from the supply chain to this project, with a total of six partners.